Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

in association with the Fairness Project
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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March 6, 2003

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In-Depth Issue:

Bin Laden Met KSM in Pakistan in February - Raymond Bonner with David Johnston (New York Times)
    Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan in February and met there with his chief operational lieutenant, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Pakistani security officials said Wednesday, based on material seized during Mohammed's arrest last Saturday.
    "There is now no doubt that he [bin Laden] is alive and well," a senior Pakistani government official said.
    The official suggested that Mohammed was betrayed by someone inside al Qaeda. The American government's offer of $25 million for information leading to his capture may have helped.
    "I'm not going to tell you how we captured him," the official said, "but Khalid knows who did him in."

What the Arrest of KSM Means for the War on Terror - Mansoor Ijaz (National Review)
    On the hard drive of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's computer, Pakistani police officials found a goldmine of information - names of other senior al Qaeda operatives, e-mails, telephone numbers, wire-transfer information (KSM is also chief financial officer for all al Qaeda operations around the world), travel itineraries, future terror scenarios.
    As Husain Haqqani at the Carnegie Endowment has articulated, KSM is not chief executive officer of a corporation called al Qaeda. He is a franchise owner who knows all the other franchisees.
    See also Al Qaeda Names Match Those Under U.S. Surveillance (CNN)
    About a dozen names discovered at the house where al Qaeda operations chief Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was arrested match names of individuals under surveillance in the U.S., according to U.S. government officials.

Islamic Fundamentalists and the Internet - Elaine Shannon and Michael Weisskopf (TIME)
    Saudi graduate student Sami Omar al-Hussayen was charged in Idaho last week with registering and maintaining a dozen militant websites promoting violence against U.S. interests
    Al-Hussayen is accused of covertly receiving $300,000 from abroad and disbursing much of it to the radical Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), a Michigan-based group known as one of the most strident voices of Islam on the Web.
    Law-enforcement sources say about $100,000 came from radical Islamic interests in Saudi Arabia.

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Bomb Rips Apart Israeli Bus in Haifa; 15 Dead
    The first Palestinian suicide bombing in two months tore apart a packed Israeli bus in Haifa on Wednesday, killing 15 people and wounding more than 50. The last suicide bombing was on January 5, when 23 people were killed in Tel Aviv. (Reuters/ABC News)
        Police said 9 or 10 of the dead were students at local high schools, ages 13 to 15, among them 14-year-old Avigail Leitner, a U.S. citizen. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also "Another Bus Blown Up, More Lives Shattered" (Ha'aretz); Israeli Arab Bus Driver Tells of Blast (Jerusalem Post)
  • Iraqis on the Run in Amman - Rosie DiManno
    There are some 300,000 Iraqi illegals and refugees in Jordan, part of an Iraqi diaspora that totals 4 million, or one-sixth of the Iraq population. Yet these Iraqis consider themselves lucky - out of Iraq, away from Saddam Hussein. They all have horrid stories to tell, and they trust no one. Abas, 28, a Shiite, said, "We want Saddam removed, we want him defeated. I know what war will mean for Iraqis. But better to suffer once than to suffer all of your life, without end. If President George Bush is an enemy of Saddam Hussein, then he is a friend to me." (Toronto Star)
  • Saudi Shiite Minority Hopes for Reforms
    Noha, a doctor, tells her children not to get upset when government-issued religion books tell them they are deviants. They are Shiites, who make up 10-15% of the population in the Saudi kingdom whose majority Sunnis follow a puritanical code that shuns not only other religions but also other Muslim sects. It's almost impossible for Shiites to get permission to build new mosques or community halls for weddings or funerals. Shiite publications are banned. Shiites say they are barred from sensitive positions in national and local government, security agencies, schools, and hospitals. (AP/Guardian-UK)
  • How a Hizballah Cell Made Millions in the U.S.
    Moonlighting from his job as a deputy sheriff, Sgt. Bob Fromme was working security at a tobacco wholesaler in Statesville, N.C., when he saw three Arabic-speaking men buying a huge stash of cigarettes. But what really caught Fromme's eye was how the men paid. They reached into shopping bags and pulled out wads of cash, bound in rubber bands. Over the next four years, Fromme worked with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in tracking the men and revealing a multimillion-dollar tobacco smuggling ring by a top U.S. cell of Hizballah, the Lebanon-based terrorist organization. (U.S. News)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Security Cabinet Approves More Operations against Terror Infrastructure - Aluf Benn
    In the wake of the Haifa bus bombing, the political-security cabinet Wednesday approved a defense establishment request to carry out more operations against the terror infrastructure in the territories, Israel Radio reported. Security and government sources said there is no intention to launch a "showcase" retaliation, and gave the following reasons: Israel is interested in the convening of the Palestinian institutions over the weekend to elect a prime minister for the Palestinian Authority. A sharp reaction to the attack will give Arafat an excuse to put off the decision and blame Israel. Israel will not mount obstacles in the way of the U.S. attack on Iraq. "This is not the week to get in the Americans' way," a security source said. Finally, the existing security policy has been fairly successful in foiling terrorist attacks and is seen as the reason for the relative quiet of the past weeks.
        Jerusalem was not fazed by recent international denunciations of the IDF's actions in Gaza. Jerusalem sources noted the official American reaction was "by the book," repeated standard expressions, and remained at the level of a spokesman's statement. The scathing criticism came mainly from Britain and the American media. Israel and the Palestinians are far from the top of the American agenda today. (Ha'aretz)
  • IDF: Time to Buy Sealed Room Supplies
    IDF spokeswoman Brigadier General Ruth Yaron said Wednesday that the time has come for the public to start stocking up on the supplies necessary for preparing a sealed room. "In order not to take chances and to be ready, we are saying...this is the time to make those purchases," Yaron said. Yaron stressed there was no need for special haste and that she was only giving general advice and not official directives. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Time's Up - Claudia Rosett
    Let's do the math. To get even a show of forward motion from Saddam, it has taken 17 failed UN resolutions, 12,000 pages of pointless documents from Baghdad, umpteen visits to Iraq by Mr. Blix, the concentrated attention for many months of the entire world, plus the deployment to the Persian Gulf of six U.S. aircraft carrier groups and 250,000 troops. And what have we got to show for it? Saddam has forked over one spare suspected biological bomb and bulldozed two dozen or so missiles he got caught lying about. Folks, this arithmetic is not going our way. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Experts in Tragedy - Barbara Sofer
    On Nov. 21, 2002, an Israeli bus carrying students to school was blown up in Jerusalem. Eleven people were murdered, and tens of others seriously injured. That night, the terrorist's father went on TV and praised his son. The following day, the terrorist's father was brought to the very same emergency room with chest pains. He was cared for by the same medical staff who had labored over his son's victims the day before.
        On the same day, 70 physicians arrived in Israel from the U.S. to take part in a medical conference. The American experts listened as a cardiac thoracic surgeon explained how a young woman, 23, with a wristwatch lodged in her throat and both carotid arteries severed has survived the bus bombing. "We all realized that in our own medical centers, that patient would likely have died," explained Harvard Prof. Ben Sacks. "The Israelis have moved far ahead of us in preparedness." (Jerusalem Post)
  • Iraq's al-Samoud: A Missile with Great Possibilities - Richard Speier
    The al-Samoud could be incorporated into a two-stage missile with a 300-kilogram payload that could be delivered to a range in excess of 1,000 kilometers. The payload is not likely to be large enough for a nuclear device, but it is great enough for a chemical or biological warhead. If a 600-kilometer-range version of the missile were manufactured, it could strike targets at the same strategic depth as did Iraq's al-Hussein missiles during the Gulf War. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Observations:

    Meeting the "Depth Threat" from Iraq: The Origins of Israel's Arrow System - Uzi Rubin (Institute for Contemporary Affairs/Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

    • During the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq's use of al-Hussein missiles, an upgraded Scud with a range of 600 km., meant they could reach not only Teheran but Tel Aviv - and we realized we had no way to stop them.
    • The soul of any missile defense system is not the missile; it is the radar, its main sensor. It took us some time to appreciate that we needed to develop a system program rather than a missile program, based on the "Green Pine" early warning and fire control radar and the "Citron Tree" battle management system.
    • In seven interception tests of the Arrow-2, six have been successful. Technically, we have every reason to believe it is going to work. If we can destroy the hostile warhead above the jet stream, which flows from west to east, everything that comes down from the destroyed warhead will enter the jet stream and be blown back to the sender.
    The author is former head of Israel's Arrow-Homa Anti-Missile Defense Program.

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